Monday, December 15, 2008

Day Seven - Saturday

We usually eat something not boring for breakfast on the weekend. Yes, the inference associated with that is correct - we normally eat boring breakfasts during the work week even when we're not obligated to. Pathetic maybe, but who has time to do anything more interesting? Anyway, I am REALLY proud of breakfast today, which came out looking beautiful even if it was cheap. S. skipped his apple yesterday so we had three WHOLE apples left for the week. Well, they're really wee apples, but they still add up to 3 if we're talking about counts. Anyway, this of course called for the construction of a German Apple Pancake. The recipe is Cook's Illustrated so I can't post it, but here's one public version.

I started with three peeled and sliced Granny Smith Apples. I sauteed them in the last skiff of vegetable oil left in our 16 ounce bottle. Isn't it kind of gross that we emptied an entire bottle of vegetable oil into our stomachs this week? Well, there's still a lot of mayonnaise left so some of it is still in that, but even so - gross. Anyway, the apples sauteed in vegetable oil, a good amount of sugar, and some cinnamon.

Then I poured a simple batter of egg, flour, salt, and sugar over the apples. There's no leavening agent besides the egg.

The whole thing goes into an extremely hot oven for about 15 minutes which causes the batter to rise up kind of like a souffle. Here's the unattractive top, when it first comes out of the oven.

I flipped it over, and can you believe it? Look how pretty this was ....

I mean, I know you're not supposed to compliment yourself, but sheesh - that looks good. Who would know I was on a budget? OK, I'm done with my narcissistic aside. Oh wait - not really, because I forgot to tell you that it was tasty and filling. Now I'm done.

We also had a Banana-Peanut-Butter smoothie made with our last two bananas, some peanut butter, milk and ice. You can see it in the background of the apple pancakes feeling out of place and ashamed in the presence of such pretty apple pancakes.

We had four entire ounces of Monterey Jack left from this week's stash, which is actually quite a lot so I made grilled cheese for lunch. They didn't really work that well, because I used the final, final, skiff of oil to brush over them. The sandwiches never browned; they just got dried out and hard on the outside. I think it was karma for being so conceited about breakfast. We also ate some carrot sticks with leftover mayonnaise.

Dinner was ramen. It really had to make an appearance sooner or later, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I like ramen. I ate tons of the stuff gowning up and in college so it's a testament to its frugal tastiness that I still don't hate it. I only had one package of seasoning for two packages of ramen so I fancied up the broth with a package of stolen soy sauce, one crushed garlic clove, and the last of the pepper. I included some carrots and spinach in the soup and then made a fatal mistake. I came up with the brilliant idea of making a hybrid ramen-egg-drop soup. It seemed entirely logical at the time. The soup was a complete meal save some protein and mating it with egg drop soup would solve that problem As you can see, it makes a pukey mess with all the little eggs clinging nastily to the noodles.

I made the picture blurry so you wouldn't vomit. In my defense, I'm not the only idiot to think this was a good idea. A friend of mine suggested that hard-boiled eggs would have been a good option, and she is definitely right. The soup needs some egg, but next time, I'd hard boil them. That would be tons better. The soup tasted nutritious - spinach makes me feel holy - but it wasn't filling, and I was very thankful that this was our last night of the challenge, because tomorrow would surely have been one of those hungry/grouchy ones if my motor was running on this.

So that's it. We've come to the end of our $25 challenge. I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning, but also grateful for the week and the experience. I'll try to pontificate more later, but I'm going to mull it over for a few days. Next up - the quantitative summary of how we did.

Breakfast: German apple pancake, banana-peanut-butter smoothie
Lunch: grilled cheese, carrot sticks and mayonnaise
Snack: sunflower seeds
Dinner: ramen noodle soup with carrots, spinach and egg
Dessert: 1 glass milk (A. only)

1 comment:

Tracey said...

Well I for one am amazed by your performance. There's no WAY I could do that much from-scratch cooking (esp. while working). Your story should be on the local news!